Champions League Preview: Barca Begin Title Defence in Rome, Arsenal away in Croatia

Barcelona will be begin their quest to become the first club to defend the UEFA Champions League title when they travel to Rome to play Italian giants AS Roma as the competition enters its second match day, Wednesday.

Champions Barca Travel to Rome

The Catalans have dominated the competition over the last 10 years, winning four titles and start their campaign for a fifth at Stadio Olimpico. Their last Champions League match at the venue was back in February 2002 and ended in a 3-0 victory for Roma. However, Luis Enrique’s men got the best result out of the duo’s last meeting, winning with a similar scoreline in their friendly match in August.

German side Bayer Leverkusen will host Belarusian outfit BATE Borisov in the other Group E clash. This will be the first meeting of any kind between the two sides.

Arsenal will be gunning for a good start when they travel to Croatia to face Dinamo Zagreb. The Gunners won both legs of their 2006 Champions League meeting with Zagreb, winning 3-0 away and 2-1 at the Emirates. The Gunners are favorites to make their way out of the group alongside Bayern Munich who make the journey to Greece for a clash with Olympiakos.

Chelsea looking for a response

Premier League champions Chelsea will be hoping for a better form in Europe after a tumultuous start to their league defence. Jose Mourinho’s side have lost three of their opening five league games, leaving them 17th on the log. They host Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv at Stamford Bridge. Dynamo Kyiv host Portuguese hopefuls Porto in the other Group G match.

Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyon travel to Belgium to battle Gent in Group H while Valencia host Zenit St. Petersburg in Spain.

Wednesday Fixtures:

Bayer Leverkusen vs BATE Borisov
Roma vs Barcelona
Dinamo Zagreb vs Arsenal
Olympiakos vs Bayern Munich
Dynamo Kyiv vs Porto
Chelsea vs Maccabi Tel Aviv
Valencia vs Zenit
Gent vs Olympique Lyonnais

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